Let’s Get Prototypical: The Role of Complainant/Defendant Gender and Form of Sexual Act on Mock Jurors’ Decisions in Sexual Assault Trials

It appears your Web browser is not configured to display PDF files. Download adobe Acrobat or click here to download the PDF file.

Click here to download the PDF file.

Creator: 

Starosta, Cassandra Taylor

Date: 

2021

Abstract: 

My thesis serves as a first examination of participants' perceived prototypicality of a SA (sexual assault) scenario to ascertain if SA prototypes are one of the mechanisms behind participants' decisions. My thesis offers an initial examination of the impact of the SA form and complainant (tied to defendant) gender on participants' SA prototypes and, in turn, their decisions. The results suggest that because the male complainant-female defendant was perceived as counter-prototypical, the male complainant was blamed more and seen as less credible, and the female defendant was perceived more favourably, resulting in fewer guilty verdicts. Simultaneously, for fixed levels of prototypicality, the female complainant was blamed more and seen as less credible, and the male defendant was perceived more favourably, resulting in fewer guilty verdicts. My results suggest that participants' SA prototypes are one of the mechanisms behind their decisions; accounting for this bias can help ensure fairer SA trials.

Subject: 

Psychology - Social

Language: 

English

Publisher: 

Carleton University

Thesis Degree Name: 

Master of Arts: 
M.A.

Thesis Degree Level: 

Master's

Thesis Degree Discipline: 

Psychology

Parent Collection: 

Theses and Dissertations

Items in CURVE are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. They are made available with permission from the author(s).